Glossary of Terms

Butcher Block 

Butcher block has two meanings – the original meaning comes from the end-grain blocks that Michigan Maple Block and Bally Block pioneered in the late 1800s for the commercial meat cutting industry.

Today, the term has come to mean edge-grain laminated construction, as over the years butchers wanted smaller and more portable versions of the traditional blocks, including butcher block cutting boards, which have become very common in residential and commercial kitchens.

Butt Joint

A term used to describe wood that is joined end to end. While many Butcher Block tops have what appears to be a butt joint, they are usually “finger joints” in which the “fingers” are buried or not visible because of the wood lamination process.

Double Dovetail

Exclusive to the Wood Welded Companies, double-dovetail joinery started in 1905 when the Muskegon Machine Co. produced the Linderman Jointer. The machine was designed to join two pieces of wood by way of a tapered Double Dovetail. The resulting construction produces a unique, extremely durable, and aesthetically pleasing grain pattern. The Wood Welded companies purchased the jointer in the early 1900s and this one-and-only piece of equipment is still in operation today, producing our Wood Welded island encounters tops and monarch chopping blocks.

Edge Grain 

A type of construction whereby boards are rip-sawed into strips or staves. The staves are then electronically sorted, the knots removed, then each of these sections are flipped 90° on-edge . Glue is applied between the staves and then put through the Wood Welded ultraviolet-curing process. Edge-grain construction is preferred for butcher block, taking advantage of the strongest part of the wood.

European Stitch 

A splice in a rail of wood that capitalizes on the gluing surface area to maximize the strength of the joint. Also called a Finger Joint, this joint looks like intertwined fingers giving it its name. Consistent with our sensitive environmental policies, the finger joint increases yield and reduces wood waste.

For butcher block products thicker than 1-3/4″, the finger joint may be visible in the face, an important consideration for those not wishing to see the finger joint. For these types of installations we do offer full length laminations for a small up charge.

Finger Joint

A splice in a rail of wood that capitalizes on the gluing surface area to maximize the strength of the joint. Also called a European Stitch, this joint looks like intertwined fingers giving it its name. Consistent with our sensitive environmental policies, the finger joint increases yield and reduces wood waste.

For butcher block products thicker than 1-3/4″, the finger joint may be visible in the face, an important consideration for those not wishing to see the finger joint. For these types of installations we do offer full length laminations for a small up charge.

Lamination 

A term used to describe the joining of each strip of wood within a top, giving Butcher Block it’s distinctive striped effect. A laminated top should not be confused with a high pressure laminate such as Formica®, Wilsonart® or Poinite®.

Plank Construction

A construction process whereby each gang board is sawed into strips and glued back together producing wide tops with nice exposure of the face grain properties of the wood. Although not as durable as edge-grain, this technique is valued because it takes advantage of the aesthetic qualities the woods. Butcher block is not plank constructed.

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